Facebook’s New AI Could Help You “remember everything from where you left your keys to whether you already added vanilla to that bowl of cookie dough”
by Robert Wheeler
While the software, AI, and algorithms used by Facebook are already uncanny in their ability to monitor and predict behavior, Facebook is now launching a research program into creating an AI indoor mapping technology and increased sound recognition.
This isn’t your ordinary AI program.
It’s not just about mapping and recognition but the permanent memory of objects and locations.
Just read part of this CNN report, “Facebook Wants To Help Build AI That Can Remember Everything For You.”
The company announced a real-world sound simulator that will let researchers train AI systems in three-dimensional virtual spaces. These spaces will mimic sounds that occur indoors, opening up the possibility for an AI assistant to help you track down a smartphone ringing in a distant room.
Facebook also unveiled an indoor mapping tool to help AI systems better understand and recall details about indoor spaces, such as how many chairs are in a dining room or whether a cup is on a counter. Today’s technology is not capable of doing this. Smart speakers generally can’t “see” the world around them, and computers are not nearly as good as humans at finding their way around indoor spaces.
Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer, hopes this works. However, the early stage could eventually power products like a pair of smart glasses to help you remember everything from where you left your keys to whether you already added vanilla to that bowl of cookie dough.
In short, he wants to perfect AI that can perfect your memory.
“If you can build these systems, they can help you remember the important parts of your life,” Schroepfer told CNN Business in an interview about the company’s vision for the future of AI.
Schroepfer’s goal depends on the company convincing people to trust Facebook to develop technology that may become deeply embedded in their personal lives. No small feat after years of privacy controversies and concerns about the amount of personal information the social network already has.
And to turn these AI systems into the sort of memory machine Schroepfer envisions, you would have to wear a pair of sensor-laden augmented-reality glasses, which have so far struggled to gain much traction.
“At the end of the day, our hope is that these AR glasses are giving people superpowers,” Schroepfer said.
With its tiny display and front-facing camera, Google Glass didn’t catch on with consumers but was reborn as an enterprise device. Snapchat’s parent company has made multiple attempts at launching video-recording sunglasses and took a nearly $40 million write-down for excess inventory of its first-generation version.
But perhaps smart glasses that can help you track down your wallet would be a bit more compelling than glasses that can take a picture of it.
Facebook’s latest AI research builds upon an existing open-source environment simulator. The company introduced AI Habitat in 2019, enabling AI researchers to quickly train AI systems in realistic-looking digital replicas of real spaces, like a kitchen or living room.
AI Assistants that understand and navigate indoor spaces, will become a reality.
Of course, many people are only going to see the upside of this technology. Never lose your phone again. Never forget your keys again. Never wonder if you had 50 dollars or 20 dollars on the counter when you went to sleep.
Just ask Facebook.
When has Facebook been concerned about its users’ convenience when a price wasn’t attached?
Most people believe Facebook is free. The truth, however, is that it comes at an incredible price – your personal data. That data is siphoned off to others for a fee and to some for free. Why might Facebook want to map indoor areas and have a permanent memory of all those spaces? And, we might ask, where is this ultimately going?
Right now, Facebook is marketing its new AI as something that would have to be worn a la Google Glass. But how long before the technology isn’t merely wearable but implantable?
How long before you aren’t ON Facebook, but IN it?
Nearly a decade ago, journalist Brandon Turbeville wrote an article entitled “Implantable Microchips And Cyborgs Are No Longer Conspiracy Theory.” He stated,
“For years, many have mocked the idea of implantable microchips and cyborgs as both conspiracy theories and science fiction. Anyone who mentioned possibilities to their neighbor risked being labeled either as a religious fanatic or delusional and paranoid.
However, as they have become more prevalent in everyday society, it has become increasingly challenging to ridicule these concepts.
For instance, with stories like the recent Singularity Hub article entitled, “Revolutionary New Brain Chip Allows Monkeys To Grasp AND Feel Objects Using Their Thoughts,” these emerging technological possibilities are almost impossible to ignore.
This article discusses how scientists have recently announced the creation of an implantable device that can be placed in the brain, allowing for the control of computers by thought. Dr. Miguel Nicolelis and company have already tested these devices in monkeys with stunningly accurate results. In addition to allowing the user to control the computer by thought, it also allows the user to feel the virtual object it is manipulating.
Of course, this device is not the first of its kind. For years, implants have allowed monkeys to control computer cursors and even robotic arms in laboratory settings. In the most recent experiment, two macaque monkeys were trained to control a virtual arm represented on the computer screen and use the arm to “grasp” virtual objects.
However, the difference between this latest experiment and the preceding experiments is these monkeys felt the objects they were grasping.
This could provide individuals who have lost limbs with more than a prosthetic replacement.
Indeed, it would offer them a prosthetic that comes complete with the sense of touch.
As prosthetics’ quality continues to improve, this technology could no doubt go a great distance toward replacing lost limbs with something more than simple equipment that allows merely for basic mobility.
Yet mobility, for some, is still the primary goal. Miguel Nicolelis and his associates, who conducted the experiment, have expressed a desire to take the technology to the next level. In conjunction with The Walk Again Project, there is allegedly a concerted effort to “restore full mobility to patients suffering from a severe degree of paralysis.”
Nicolelis’ lab at Duke University is already working toward this end. Because the ultimate goal of a return of full mobility to a person experiencing such paralysis will require support for the body itself, the scientists are also developing what they call a “wearable robot” to encase the person who is being implanted.
Yes, I said a wearable robot.
And yes, a wearable robot can also be described as an exoskeleton.
Peter Murray of Singularity Hub writes:
The brain chips – if they work – will be a technological triumph by themselves. Custom-designed, the brain chips will be low-power and wireless, transmitting their signals to a processing unit worn on the patient’s belt about the size of a cell phone. That brain activity will then be translated to digital motor signals which will control the actuators across the joints of the exoskeleton. Force and stretch indicators throughout the exoskeleton will signal back to the patient’s brain the whereabouts of his or her joints and limbs.
The technology created will enable the lame to walk again.
However, for everything good in the world, there is an evil twin. This technology provides for the possibility of some darker applications but, considering those who are currently guiding the destiny of the world, it almost ensures them.
If we allow society to continue to move in the direction it is currently headed, these technologies do not bode well for humanity’s future as we know it.
For years, shadowy and nefarious agencies like DARPA have openly discussed creating drones designed to look like insects, snakes, and other animals. These creations have been primarily robotic, with the appearance of being an insect, but being nothing more than a sophisticated remote-controlled or pre-programmed drone.
Going one giant step further, and in direct relationship to the style of brain tampering spoken about early in this article, DARPA has unveiled other projects as well. As far back as 2007, DARPA announced that it was planning to not only build but grow cyborg moths and other insects for spying purposes. The program, Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (HI-MEMS), involves the construction of a “tiny lepidopterous infiltration borg by growing a living moth around a ‘micro-mechanical system.'”
Essentially, DARPA is implanting a “metallic core” into the moths, which will function as a cloak for the metal center.
This is something that bears repeating. Instead of functioning as an exoskeleton as discussed in Nicolelis’ project, the cores will wear the bodies.
Lewis Page wrote for The Register, “If Dr. Lal [DARPA scientist involved in the project] was using vast Austrian bodybuilders rather than moths, we’d be talking Terminator yet again (this happens rather a lot when one starts looking at the US defense establishment.”
Of course, there is little doubt that if DARPA is releasing this much information on HI-MEMS, the project has already been attempted, tested, and perfected a long time ago. It is only new to the general public, and the few scientists who released the information to the population are doing it to prep them for the coming New World Order.
As Rod Brooks of MIT’s computer science and artificial intelligence lab (CSAIL) was quoted as saying,
“This is going to happen. It’s not a science like developing a nuclear bomb, which costs billions of dollars. It can be done relatively cheaply.”
“A bunch of experiments have been done over the past couple of years where simple animals, such as rats and cockroaches, have been operated on and driven by joysticks, but this is the first time where chip has been injected in the pupa stage and ‘grown’ inside it.”
“First time.” Yeah right.
“Biological engineering is coming.” ~ Rod Brooks
There are already more than 100,000 people with cochlear implants, which have a direct neural connection, and chips are being inserted in people’s retinas to combat macular degeneration. By the next Olympics, we’re going to be dealing with systems that can aid athletes’ oxygen uptake.
There’s going to be more and more technology in our bodies, and there will be many moral debates.
Moral debates there may be, but there is also no doubt that the world is more and more readily coming to accept biological intrusion and top-down control due to their constant training at the hands of the television, video games, and indoctrination at the hands of the education system.
Take a look at the behavior of anyone under thirty in the presence of modern interactive technology. You will see the writing on the wall.
In this regard, The Singularity Movement is a perfect example of the coming scientific dictatorship, and some’s enthusiasm to accept it. Singularity can be defined, very simply, as the moment when humans and machines merge.
It is a philosophy that is gaining more and more steam with the general public due to its gradual introduction and promotion by the media (television, games, etc.) and prominent individuals like Ray Kurzweil and Rodney Brooks.
TIME magazine’s Lev Grossman discussed Singularity in this way:
Maybe we’ll merge with them to become super intelligent cyborgs, using computers to extend our intellectual abilities the same way that cars and planes extend our physical abilities. Maybe the artificial intelligences will help us treat the effects of old age and prolong our life indefinitely. Maybe we’ll scan our consciousnesses into computers and live inside them as software, forever, virtually. Maybe the computers will turn on humanity and annihilate us. The one thing all these theories have in common is the transformation of our species into something that is no longer recognizable as such to humanity circa 2011. This transformation has a name: Singularity.
Singularity is a movement promoted from the top-down. And it is easily seen that the backers of the Singularity movement are the usual suspects, including NASA and GOOGLE, as well as individuals like Bill Gates and Ray Kurzweil.
Governments have been preparing for the merger of man and machine for some time.
A report by Richard Norton-Taylor, written for The Guardian in 2007, entitled “Revolution, flashmobs, and brain chips. A grim vision of the future,” Norton-Taylor relays the findings of a 90-page report administered and released by the British Ministry of Defense. The research team was tasked with describing a future “strategic context” that the British military might encounter in the coming years.
By 2035, an implantable ‘information chip’ could be wired directly to the brain. A growing pervasiveness of information communications technology will enable states, terrorists or criminals, to mobilize ‘flashmobs,’ challenging security forces to match this potential agility coupled with an ability to concentrate forces quickly in a small area.
Singularity is also a movement that has its roots in eugenics and the ruling elites’ desire for complete control over the mind, body, and soul of every human being on the planet. Oddly enough, while some may dispute this claim, this movement’s eugenics roots are relatively open.
Consider the comments made by the RAND corporation in its 2001 report, The Global Technology Revolution: Bio/Nano/Materials Trends and Their Synergies with Information Technology by 2015.
The results could be astonishing. Effects may include significant improvements in human quality of life and life span…continued globalization, reshuffling of wealth, cultural amalgamation or invasion with potential for increased tension and conflict, shifts in power from nation-states to non-government organizations and individuals…and the possibility of human eugenics and cloning. [Emphasis added]
With this in mind, the Singularity Hub article developments, which I discussed early on, take a more sinister tone.
As the RAND corporation states in its report, singularity’s introduction will most likely involve a significant improvement in the disabled’s living standards. At least it will at first. Eventually, the movement will begin to encompass convenience and be seen as trendy and fashionable. Once merging with machines has become commonplace and acceptable (even expected), the real tyranny will begin to set in. Soon after, there will be no opt-outs allowed.
It [technology/internet/etc.] has many purposes but one of them was never to free the people, it would be used as an incredible tool of data-collection and using, like television and repetition of different topics, or the same topics or phrases again, it would be used to condition the public in their opinions, until, really, they’d be addicted to it, they could never do without it. That’s the intent, because you will go cashless eventually and it will be used as a form of social approval and disapproval, if they cut you off from the net: you won’t be able to do your banking, get money to pay your rent etc. Bertrand Russell talked about this sort of technique to be used in the future and it’s coming now. ‘Cloud’ will come in and that will take over and be THE one for the planet and everyone will rush into it thinking ‘my God I don’t have to worry about spyware or viruses or upgrades, it’s all done for me, out there somewhere in the big ‘cloud.” And the Cloud, eventually, will be censoring your emails and actually popping up windows to tell you ‘are you sure you want to use this word, this politically incorrect word in this email?’ Then it might give you a little list of fines or punishments etc. etc. This is all planned folks, that’s how you do it.
Advancements in the quality of human life due to new technology aren’t intended for the average person.
The good that could be done by virtue of its development is only meant as a tool to sell it to the population in the beginning and to control them in the end. Indeed, the control that can and will be exerted through its acceptance is the ultimate goal.
What seems like an innocuous announcement to many hapless consumers the world over is an opening of the rabbit hole. However deep that rabbit hole may seem right now though, it goes much deeper, even than the scope of this article.
The technology mentioned above is nearly a decade old, and even that technology was virtually obsolete in 2011 compared to the tech being created and perfected at the time.